Anniversary of a Tea Party
Boston - 234 years ago.
It was on this night that a beginning was made in the New World, and an old world began to come to an end. That old world, ruled by a despot, acceded to by smaller minded would-be despots, reached across the globe. Indeed, it was said that "The sun never sets on the British Empire", as it had colonies on nearly every continent.
But, as the sun slowly set in the West on this one night, men who were bone-weary of that tyrant's ever increasing greed, paid for with taxes on almost every essential item of life, and the enforcement of his rule by his far-flung henchmen, gathered to demonstrate their resolve to end that rule.
[Uh, sorry to stick in a historical footnote, but the fact is that King George III wasn't really such a bad old duffer--in fact, compared to most 18th century monarchs, he was downright prim and proper. The King was actually pretty sympathetic personally to the American colonists, whom he considered to be fellow Englishmen. The "oppression", which was pretty mild by today's standards and which affected only the nascent American capitalist class in the coastal cities like Boston and Charleston and the Tidewater planters, etc., came from the British capitalist class represented by assholes like Lord North and the Pitts, who wanted to loot America's wealth and resources and do it dirt cheap without cutting in the colonials on all the political and economic goodies. The American Civil War was basically fought over the same economic issue, the North wanting to loot the South at rock-bottom prices, it's just that the South unfortunately lost. All wars are economic in origin, America's wars much more so. Okay, back to C & D. - HAC]
Before the night was over, 342 wooden chests of tea had been dumped into Boston Harbor from the 3 ships that held them. 200 men, dressed up as Mohawks, had done the deed, out of a crowd of some 5,000 - 7,000 people who had gathered at the docks. About 4% of the gathered crowd had decided to act, rather than just merely complain about the tea tax and then submissively pay it. That was about 2% of the estimated population of Boston.
History shows that about 2% of the people are required to make any significant change. It was estimated that about 2% of the American colonial population desired freedom from tyranny, about 2%were Royalists (loyal to the Crown) and the rest couldn't be bothered with fighting for the freedoms that they enjoyed - at the cost of 4,435 lives and 6,188 wounded, out of the estimated 217,000 who eventually fought in that war. Luckily another 5% of the colonial population saw the light and threw in with the 2% who started the war for independence.
Today it would take about 1.5 million to free this country from the oppression we face in the coming years. That's based on an approximate 70 million males old enough to actually do something. That's if they could first be convinced there actually is something worth fighting for, other than their 9-5 barely more than minimum wage jobs, Monday night football and a Wally World on every other corner selling toxic Chinese toys to their children.
I wonder if we're capable of changing things around in time to avoid the eventual "Mad Max" scenario Mssrs. Miller and Gibson so prophetically outlined for us 28 years ago. Can we bring an end to this nightmare world we have so complacently accepted, or is it about to bring an end to us?
-Cloak and Dagger
[I actually think it would take far less, D. I think I am going to go ahead and publish a lengthy excerpt from THE BRIGADE tomorrow getting into this topic. - HAC]